SINGAPORE - Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) is easing restrictions on food imports from Japan, including Fukushima prefecture with immediate effect.
This was announced by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on Saturday during a joint press conference with Japan Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, after AVA's review and on-site assessment, as well as satisfactory surveillance results from Japan and AVA.
Fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, meat, hen eggs and green tea/green tea products from eight prefectures (Chiba, Ibaraki, Gunma, Kanagawa, Saitama, Tochigi and Tokyo) can be imported into Singapore without the need for pre-export tests.
In addition, the suspension of agricultural produce and processed food products (fruits and vegetables, milk and milk products, meat, green tea and green tea products, and rice) from Fukushima will be lifted.
AVA has been monitoring food imports from Japan closely since the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant incident in 2011, and the surveillance results have been reported to be satisfactory.
According to the results, radioactive contamination found in food is very low.
This was supported by AVA's on-site assessment early this year to verify and understand Japan's food safety measures.
Japanese authorities still need to show evidence of satisfactory surveillance results for radioactive contamination in these prefectures.
Import restrictions that remain in place are:
a) Seafood and products from the forest in the prefectures of Ibaraki, Tochigi, Gunma will still require pre-export tests;
b) Seafood and products from the forest as well as agricultural produce from demarcated areas and the control zone2 (close to the nuclear power plant) in Fukushima prefecture are not allowed to be imported.
All food products from Japan still require a Certificate of Origin (COO) to identify the prefecture of origin of the food product.
AVA will continue to closely monitor food imports from Japan to ensure that the products comply with the local food safety requirements.